Pakistan’s Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MINFA) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with US agriculture seed firm Monsanto for the transfer of Bt technology to produce disease-resistant cotton seed in the country.

The deal is expected to cost around PKR9bn (US$100m) to the country. By adopting the technology, annual cotton production there is expected to grow up to 3.4m tons by 2014, from the current level of 2m tons.

Federal Minister for Food and Agriculture, Nazar Muhammad Gondal, said that technology transfer would "revolutionise" the seed sector of the country and bring positive changes in agriculture sector.

Gondal also said the technology would improve cotton crop production in the country, besides protecting the crop from various diseases.

For the past few years Pakistan has been importing more than 0.6m tons cotton annually from different countries due to acute shortage of cotton in the country.

Massive investments in the country’s textile industry during the past decade have increased the cotton requirement of the country to 2.7m tons per annum whereas indigenous production of cotton currently stands at around 2m tons.